I started out just homeschooling the boys, and Karis decided that she wants to homeschool now so we are now officially a homeschooling family. This is so exciting to our whole family. We have so much flexibility now. We will be doing year-round schooling starting August 26th. We will be doing 6 weeks on and 1 week off. They actually agreed to this because they love the idea of having a week off every 6 weeks!
Curriculum, Books, and Supplies
For me, I need a specific curriculum to use as a guide, and the beauty of the main one that we’re using is that it checks the boxes of language arts, fine arts, geography, poetry, etc all in one. The lessons are super short each day.
I used to have tons of artist, poet, composer, etc books and we never used them! Now we can check them out from the library or search online for them. I don’t have to own all the things.
I’m using The Good and the Beautiful for language arts. I’m going to try to dig deeper when they are super interested in something or if they are struggling. The beautiful thing is, curriculum is something I teach, not something I buy!
Good and Beautiful language arts covers phonics, reading comprehension, grammar, writing, spelling, poetry, art appreciation, and geography. This is done in short lessons each day and usually only covers one or two things each day.
I am adding Brave Writer writing projects for fun and extra practice. The boys will be doing Partnership Writing projects and Karis will be doing Faltering Ownership. When I shared these with the kids, Levi wanted to get started immediately. Haha.
For history we are using the living book, Story of the World. We started it in February and we will just continue with it.
For Karis, she will do the program on her own. She will answer written questions, do written narration, map work, timeline work, and work using the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.
For math, we are using Math U See. It’s going SO well for my hands-on, multi-sensory boys. The boys have grown so much. They did Beta from February through May. They will complete Gamma and Delta this coming year. I started them a few levels below to fill in gaps. Levi will be right on level and Ethan will still be a level below grade level when they finish, but it’ll be okay.
Karis will be starting a few levels below her grade level also to fill in some gaps, but she will move through it pretty quickly. My hope is that she will get through Epsilon and Zeta this coming year. We’ll see. She may only go through Algebra 2, but that’s okay. That’s all I did. I have a feeling, though, that since we’re doing year round schooling, she will be able to catch up. And Math U See is great for moving through fast if need be.
For science, we are going to do nature studies and also study marine biology through The Good and the Beautiful for the boys.
For nature studies, I am using a guide that I found online to focus on one thing a week using Nature Anatomy. I will include some books from the library and some from ThriftBooks. I also have a lot of amazing nature books.
For marine biology, we will take it slow and do a lesson a week.
Karis is using the junior high General Science 1 through Masterbooks. She picked it out and is so excited!
The Heart of Our Homeschool (as a Minimalist Homeschooler)
Charlotte Mason and Classically inspired. Living books (as much as possible), dictation, narration, nature studies, etc.
Relaxed homeschooling. Taking lots of deep breaths. Using essential oils. Drinking hot tea. Yoga. Outdoors. Enjoying each thing that we do as much as we can. Truly teaching from rest.
Frugal homeschooling. Using free things as much as possible. Buying used whenever I can (which is how I get most of my curriculum). Using the library and the internet. Using what we already have. These are just some examples.
We will be doing read alouds, daily copywork/narration, Poetry Teatime, Free-writes, Nature studies, etc regularly.
I consider us a Wild + Free family. Wild+Free is basically a community where we let kids be kids and play outside and in nature. We take trips as a family to camp and hike often. We ride mountain bikes and are involved in things in camp. As I learn more about it, I will share here. I’m still learning! I’m hoping that we will be able to join the San Antonio community sometimes!
The school room/office got turned into Levi’s bedroom, so we moved everything into the kitchen. I turned our coffee bar into our school area and it works well. I’m still working on perfecting it, but it’s going to be great. I actually prefer doing school at the kitchen table anyway. And the kids do their independent work all over the house.
I have an amazing basket on the top of the shelf because we do morning time at the table. It’s full of our read aloud, The Story book, Story of the World book and activity book, Botanicum, Nature Anatomy, my bible and quiet time journal, pens, etc.
The art supplies for nature studies and for Karis’s art lessons are in a basket on the top of the shelf as well.
On the bottom shelves are Latchmate containers with their curriculum. The small containers have their readers and novels.
My favorite novels are in the bins and my favorite picture books along with nature study books and ocean books to go with their science are on these shelves.
Homeschooling fills my cup. I love being with my kids every day!